Grief support groups, condolence advice, funeral etiquette and more
A continutaion of the "When a Spouse or Partner Dies" thread.
Latest Conversations: Jul 17
This might be a rough time for many of you. Do what you feel you need to do to get through it. Remember, someone is here almost all the time to talk to you.
Started by Bonny Jones. Last reply by Diamond Jan 31.
Started by Tim's Mom, Vickie. Last reply by Michele Jul 21, 2019.
Started by Sharon Kinsey. Last reply by Frances C Younger Jun 24, 2019.
Dear Deborah P.
I know how you feel and even after almost 9 years of Ernie's passing he is always in my heart, but as time went on the initial pain of losing him was less. I as well have never forgotten the last days with my beloved Ernie, but know my friend, that Greg and Ernie are in a good place. To keep myself from falling apart I always tell myself this, 'I'm carrying the torch forward for you Ernie and no one will ever forget you were here with your kind heart leaving many memories for us to enjoy.' Sometimes I get angry because those loved ones that have passed are in a better place and we are left behind. I agree we are left behind to make a difference. It may be just a small difference, but we do touch other's hearts. With each person we meet we leave an imprint on them. I know no words can take your pain away right now, but things honestly do get better in time. It's OK to cry every so often and I still do.
Steve ... Thank you for sharing that wonderful story. You are correct in saying that total strangers can make a small difference in our life. I have seen people in the stores pondering over some article they are thinking of buying and frowning and sometimes I smile and make a funny comment to them and they smile and then a bit of a conversation. An example that happened yesterday; I was at the doctors and when I came out there was a young girl sitting huddled up and shivering against the outside wall of the building. She was dressed fairly well in a Parka, but looked so lost and lonely. She wasn't begging for money. I turned around and went back in the store and ordered 2 sandwiches and some hot soup and gave it to her. She had tears in her eyes. I never give money because one never knows if it's a person who is on drugs, but I will provide some food and chat with the person so they know that yes, people do notice them and some are kind enough to help where they can. I agree with Mary.Jane that this woman was meant to be with you and Chuck. They say that angels do walk amongst us.
Love you both
I wish you a good day...with the best memories of Greg playing in your heart...there is a line form somewhere..about people coming into your life for a “reason or a season..” and we are the ones who have to forge new lives for ourself. It sucks..but thinking about it..there must be a reason we are the ones “left behind” to “carry on”. It helps ME to think I must have a purpose..I just don,t know what..and might never know...but maybe we are meant To ”touch” the life of someone else, in some way.
And I KNOW without a doubt, that we will see our loved ones again..in some dimension or way...but meanwhile, I believe we have to keep living as best we can.
Steve..I don,t believe your story was coincidence...for whatever reason..that nice lady was meant to connect with Chuck and you. Her message seems to be one of love, laughter and approval. Thank you for sharing it.
Each year that passes is still fresh in my mind, I will forever remember in great detail the last moments of Mark's passing. I cannot escape theses thoughts, I do find that each year that passes, I am not as emotional as I was the day he passed. I find that my mind will bring up that day on any given day of the year.
We all live with these memories, sometimes they snap me out of depression and sometimes I have to allow them to pass thru me and I let it, makes me mad, cry and then I recover and think of where I was and where my life is today.
Your love for Greg will be forever and you will always have him in your memories. The human heart can be emotionally damaged and never repaired, however, our human heart has the ability to love others more than our sorrow. It is a puzzle how each of us manages to go on each day.
I still like the saying that each person we meet was put on our path in life to effect a change in us or we did something to make a difference in their life.
Today on our way into Target an older lady was on her way out and stopped us with a question. She said that she needed to share a funny story with us that occurred inside the store. So we stopped and as she told us her story we all laughed and she was happy. As she relayed her story to us as she looked at Chuck she would hold onto his arm and when she looked at me she would reach out and grab my arm.
As she left I thought how wonderful that a total stranger was not afraid of two old guys and felt it necessary to share her funny story. She was not afraid of laughing at herself and not afraid of laughing with the store attendant that was helping her.
Encounters can also just be a hello to someone you make eye contact with, but the best ones come out of the blue just as she did.
Today marks the beginning of the end of the life as I knew it 3 years ago, Greg had his stroke at about 11pm and our life forever changed, long nights and weeks in the hospital and the changes at home and all the hope and prayers only to have him pass away 3 months later because he could no longer swallow. He will be forever missed
Steve, I totally think it was a gift from Mark, he knew you needed a sign that hes still around, I have a niece that just came out to me that she has a girlfriend, I told her I am so happy that she is happy and all I truly care about for my family and friends is that they all feel love and happiness because that is all that truly matters, I am not the person to judge everyone else, not my job, Im so sry that Mark passed without the acceptance he deserved, God made us all different in many ways so why would he condemn us for what he made, so everyone else needs to follow Gods lead and be accepting of all of our differences
Steve....I agree with Mary Jane and Marsha. I'd like to think Mark's family does care and regrets the way they treated him. I love that Mark sent you a feather...tangible evidence that he is near.
I am smiling again, thank you Marsha and Mary Jane.
Chuck is wonderful, he patiently handed me tissues and then made us a pizza for lunch. I still cannot do to much in physical activities, so I finally started my paint by numbers set which Chuck had set up in the Dinning room equipped with a tripod light brushes from his set and everything else I needed, After about an hour or so I looked at the small area I completed and before I could tell Chuck how awful it looked, he just smiled and said wait until tomorrow and it will look differently. He was right of course, I will now spend a little time painting over the next few weeks to help keep my mind and me busy.
Thank you Marsha for sharing your story with me, your compassion for others still sets the bar high for all of us. Humans are and can be the most loving and giving when they so choose to be.
We spent the rest of the day watching Musicals, Phantom of the Opera and Into the woods.
You both are right, it was not by chance Chuck and I found each other, Larry and Mark and a host of other Angels made it possible. I can not imagine my life now without Chuck by my side.
Thank you both for your loving responses.
Your brother Steve
My dear brother Steve ...
I agree with Mary.Jane that because it was Mark's b/d and you found the feather of course your emotions come bubbling up. I know for sure that I truly have my days out of the blue. I hope you believe this Steve, but it's Mark's way of letting you know he's there and happy you have found Chuck. I bet he has a smile on his face. You and Chuck just didn't meet by accident and were meant to finish out your lives with each other and I know Larry would be happy for Chuck too.
Not all families toss a gay son or daughter away although I know some do. I do believe they are now living with regrets and guilt and they should. I too don't understand how any family can toss a gay son, daughter or relative out of the family as they are the same people they loved before and being gay never changes that. Here is a story for you:
My sister-in-law's brother was gay when AIDS was at it's highest. My family, Ernie and his own family were there for him until he did have to go to hospital near the end. We'd take turns visiting him. I remember my mom nearly tripping over herself getting him what he needed and how much pleasure he got from seeing us. When we walked into the room I notice a young man on the far bed looking so sad and I went over and gave him a big hug. He broke down crying because not his family or anyone had hugged him or even came near him. Every time I went in I hugged him just to see that big smile on his face. So you see my friend not everyone is ignorant and they are the losers for those gays they may meet and judge them for it because they will miss the joy and love they have to give. Mark had you! Now you have Chuck! Put a smile on your face dear brother for me.
Love you lots
BTW, for Steve, and everyone..last night I watched a wonderful movie on PRIME...I RARELY recommend ANYTHING like this, as they usually suck..but to me, this movie was SPECTACULAR
It is called TROOP ZERO ..about a girl, who NEEDS to be a BIRDIE SCOUT...and the 3 other kids who join with her...kids that no other group will accept...it is based in the early 70’s in a tiny Southern town..and it was sooo good I am going to watch it again!
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